Ben's Cave

Lucayan Caverns


Useful Information

Location: Lucayan National Park
Open: All year daily.
[2020]
Fee: Adults USD 5, Children (0-11) free.
[2020]
Classification: SpeleologyKarst Cave
Light: bring torch
Dimension: L=9,181m.
Guided tours:  
Photography:  
Accessibility:  
Bibliography:  
Address: Bahamas National Trust (BNT), Main Headquarters, P. O. Box N-4105, Bay Street Business Centre, Bay St. East, Nassau, Tel: +1-242-393-1317, Fax: +1-242-393-4978, Toll Free: 1-866-978-4838. E-mail:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.

History

1970s Rempedia (Speleonectes lucayensis) discovered.
MAR-1982 Lucayan National Park established.
MAR-1983 park closed to the public.
1985 reopened to the public.
1986 archaeological excavation revealed the skeletal remains of six indigenous Lucayans.
2015 park expanded.

Description

Ben's Cave was named for UNEXSO legend Ben Rose. UNEXSO is the abreviation of UNderwater EXplorers SOciety, a company on Grand Bahama Island which offers anything around diving. The have a diving centered retail store and offer "diving vacation packages" and swimming with dolphins.

Ben's Cave is called one of the two "inland blue holes" within the Lucayan National Park. Actually it is not a blue hole, it is the entrance to a huge water filled cave which is named Lucayan Caverns. It contains freshwater on the top and saltwater on the bottom, separated by a halocline some 10m below the surface. The diving in this cave system is quite impressive and diving tours are offered by Calabash Eco Adventures.

The trigger for the creation of the Lucayan National Park was the attempt of a commercial diving organization to lease the ground around the entrance to Ben’s Cave. Obviously they sought exclusive use of the cave for their private purposes. The Executive Director of the Bahamas National Trust, Rod Attrill convinced the Bahama Port Authority to place this area under the care of the BNT. The dangers are obvious, destruction of speleothems, destruction of the endemic life in the cave and the destruction of the delicate ecosystem. The BNT signed a 99 year lease and closed the park to allow the area to recover from the impact of man. To reduce the impact of visitors the Visitor Centre and trails were constructed and the park reopened. The cave entrance is accessible with a wooden elevated trail. There is also a trail on both sides of the road with explanatory signs and a visitor center.

Since the late 1970s the cave life is explored. Most spectacular was the discovery of an unusual centipede-like tiny opaque animal. The previously unknown class of crustacean was named Rempedia or “oar foot” (Speleonectes lucayensis).

In nearby Burial Mound Cave archaeologists discovered in 1986 the skeletal remains of six indigenous Lucayans. Burial Mound Cave is another entrance to the Lucayan Caverns. They were carbon dated at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC to be from the Lucayan era. This is definite evidence of pre-Columbian settlement on Grand Bahama.